Here are five tips/activities for building
fine-motor skills in your kids:
> Squeeze a stress or squish ball
> Build things with small Lego pieces
> Practice buttoning and opening/clos-ing snaps on
> Pick up
> Do jigsaw
plete. To increase your child’s fluency and
willingness to write, try this: Have your child
talk out an answer, and you write down the
first sentence. Your child writes the next
sentence, and you switch back and forth.
This shortens homework, takes the handwriting load off your child, and forces him
to stay focused on thinking about the next
>HAVE YOUR CHILD SAY THE
WORDS AS HE WRITES THEM. Auditory
feedback helps students stay focused and
monitor their efforts.
> DO LETTER FORMATION DRILLS
(print and cursive). Letters don’t have to
be precise and artistic. They should be fairly
consistent and readable. So a letter should
not float like a balloon, or sink below the line
(“into the basement,” as some teachers say).
Make sure your child always forms letters
from the top, not the bottom.
>USE HANDWRITING WITHOUT
hwtears.com), a program that includes a workbook and online tools. It works
> BE EFFICIENT. Practice letters that
are similarly formed (l/t/I; a/c/d; v/w), and
work on those that are more frequently
used—s, m, r—before he tries those less
commonly found in words— j, q, z.
KENDRA WAGNER, a learning specialist in private practice in Seattle, consults in schools and
advocates for special-needs children. Kendra’s
ADDitudeMag.com for help in organizing a child’s thoughts for term papers.